Who Benefits Most from Call Recording?
Following is an insightful quote from a survey we conducted to determine who benefits most from recording customer calls:
“Call recording is a tool that can benefit every department. Each department may have a different perspective or way they contribute towards the customer experience and how they measure progress, but the goal for each department should be the same: to adhere to business values and overall objectives. For example, what a customer service manager is looking to occur over the phone is very different than what a CEO or sales manager may want to focus on. Each perspective, skill, and role they play builds and improves the “customer experience”. But, they are all working towards the same end goal. The key is understanding the tools available to them so that they can leverage ALL of the intelligence within their call recordings efficiently.” (Call Center Professional, via LinkedIn)
By recording your conversations with customers, you are generating an invaluable piece of intellectual capital, which you can use to assess the customer experience, ensure PCI and HIPAA compliance, resolve disputes, verify orders and even uncover critical sales and marketing intelligence.
Call recording can add value to almost every area of your business.
A recent OrecX survey found the following as the primary beneficiaries of an organization’s call recording system and all of the customer, compliance, sales and marketing intelligence it supplies.
Call Center Manager: Large Hotel Chain
Job Description: Responsible for the daily running and management of the center, for meeting customer service targets, and identifying areas of improvement or development.
Motivation: Run a smooth call center with high performing agents, high first call resolution (FCR) rate, high customer service levels, and a low average handle time (AHT).
Scenario: Cliff is compensated strictly on two metrics – FCR and AHT – and as such, he monitors these numbers on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. He is pretty fanatical about the numbers, but it is understandable as his compensation is directly tied to them.
Using the company’s call recording software, Cliff set up an automatic report that runs on his desktop, which shows in real time the call center’s FCR and AHT rates. The report also tells him which agents are far above and far below his pre-set performance thresholds (i.e. the outliers) so he can reward and/or incentivize accordingly to keep the numbers on an upward trajectory.
Cliff is hopeful he will receive his biggest bonus check to date at this year’s awards dinner.
Call Center Agent: Software Company
Job Description: Handle incoming tech support calls from customers.
Motivation: Jasper’s team of call center agents are incentivized by their individual monthly first call resolution scores. The higher the score, the higher the financial incentive.
Scenario: Jasper is a motivated, young, tech support specialist, who is very eager to achieve the highest levels of first call resolution so he can earn some much-needed extra cash.
In addition to reviewing a few calls each week with his quality supervisor, Jasper asks for access to all of his call recordings so he can go back and learn from each one. He makes it a practice of listening to at least 5 calls each week and takes notes on what he did right and wrong, to better support future customers and successfully resolve their issues.
After three months of doing this, Jasper’s FCR score jumps 9%. He is handsomely rewarded with a $900 bonus. He uses the money to help buy a used car so he can stop taking the bus to work.
Quality Supervisor: Travel Company
Job Description: Responsible for monitoring and assessing agent performance to identify strengths and weaknesses.
Motivation: Her bonus at the end of the quarter is tied to the call center’s improvement in customer service scores.
Scenario: Tanya is responsible for the ongoing assessment of two teams of call center agents, totaling 16. She listens to a sampling of calls each week for each agent and scores them on various metrics – first call resolution, proper greeting, resolution handling, pleasantness, upselling, etc. She then has one-on-one discussions with each agent each week to review their quality scores and share best practices for immediate improvement.
Tanya uses the company’s call recording and quality monitoring applications to facilitate her job. Without them, she wouldn’t have the tools necessary to assess interactions nor share proper feedback with the agents.
At the end of Q1, the company’s customer service score jumped 4%. She receives a nice bonus and is thrilled about it.
Customer: 34 year old male
Motivation: Wants to have a pleasant phone experience and likes the idea of having the call recorded so he can ask the company to pull up his past call to verify what was said – if necessary.
Scenario: Jeremy calls his cable company about the high cost of his monthly bill. It is about $22 higher than usual. The agent quickly realizes the heightened cost is due to Jeremy’s recent approval of adding Showtime to his account. The agent claims the records show that on a date 32 days earlier, Jeremy agreed to add the premium channel while on the phone with a representative of the cable company who called to sell him on it. He asked for that call to be accessed and listened to. It was, and it was determined he in fact declined the service. His account was credited in full.
VP of Customer Service: Telecommunications Provider
Job Description: Responsible for the customer-service strategy of the organization. This person sets the agenda for how the company interacts with customers.
Motivation: Wants to ensure customers are receiving the stellar experience they deserve so they keep coming back and refer others.
Scenario: Steve is one of those VPs of Customer Service that really is all about the customer. He cares deeply in his company’s reputation and prides himself on the organization’s consistent 94% customer satisfaction rating. He isn’t shy about throwing the lofty number around at company meetings, customer lunches and even cocktail receptions with his wife and friends.
Steve and his customer service department already use call recording and quality monitoring software to assess call-center agent performance and identify best-practice calls to highlight at the team’s weekly meeting. His supervisors also use the system daily to evaluate agents and identify areas for improvement.
He knows his company’s reputation depends largely on how well his agents satisfy his customers’ needs and he is committed to ensuring his front-line agents acquire the skills they need. The call recording software the company uses serves as the basis for understanding this.
Compliance Officer: Manufacturing Firm
Job Description: Responsible for setting corporate compliance policy and ensuring all staff adhere to relevant governmental, industry and corporate regulations and policies.
Motivation: Ensure all staff comply with all relevant regulations so the organization avoids costly infractions.
Scenario: Wellington is a former corporate attorney and knows the company’s regulatory environment quite well. Of late, the company has been receiving many complaints and lawsuit threats from customers about the organization’s handling of private information.
He works with the call center manager, Tom, to find out what’s going on. Tom takes a sampling of calls in which credit card information was collected and listens to those interactions. He then shares them with Wellington who also listens. They both discover the issue right away.
The call center agents’ current workflow when taking credit card information is not optimal. It requires agents to dual-populate the credit card number. To do this properly, agents are opening up the Notepad app on their desktop and typing the number in there so they can re-enter it on a later screen. This type of mishandling of personally identifiable information leaves the company vulnerable. Wellington institutes corporate policy to change this right away. Soon thereafter the complaints and lawsuit threats decline dramatically.
VP of Marketing: Consumer Products Company
Job Description: Responsible for developing and executing a clearly defined marketing and communications strategy in support of sales and market-share growth.
Motivation: Wants to intimately understand the needs and concerns of the organization’s customers in order to better target and engage them.
Scenario: Diane has been with the company for several years but only recently was promoted to the top marketing position. She wants to take a very customer-centric approach to establishing a dialog with prospects and first needs to better understand what drives their decision making. To get this inside perspective on the company’s target customer, she takes the time to listen in on 50 calls over a two week period. She selects 12 new order calls, 13 cancellation calls, 12 successful up-sell calls and 12 product support calls.
By listening to 50 customers in all of these different capacities, she learns several things:
- Customers find the company’s products to be cheap and not well made
- Customers are reluctant to sign long-term contracts +
- Almost every product support call is about the same broken part
She works with product development to fix these issues right away and then embarks on a campaign to communicate the company’s commitment to product and service excellence. Two months later she listens to another 50 calls and sees that things are already starting to turn around.
VP of Sales: Copy/Fax/Scan Machine Manufacturer
Job Description: Responsible for the direction and management of all sales and business development operations, and for driving customer acquisition and sales revenue.
Motivation: Wants to increase sales revenue and bring in more new customers.
Scenario: Cliff is one of those heads of Sales that cares about one thing – keeping his current customers happy so they renew their annual subscriptions each year. This alone keeps the company’s revenues healthy every year. With a recent drop in renewals, Cliff knew he had to do something, so he enacted an offer of 90 days of free machine maintenance if the client renews his/her annual contract. He has the call center agents dialing out to existing customers to make the offers.
Jeff is running a recurring report from the call recording system that shows him how many customers were offered the free maintenance and how many accepted and renewed. He’s using this intelligence to assess the campaign’s success. Cliff also periodically listens to calls to see how customer react to the offer. He’s also contemplating running two offers simultaneously and using a similar report to measure which does better.
Jeff likes having a direct line of site to customers when running these renewal campaigns. It lets him make necessary changes quickly.